Out-Of-Favour Chelsea Defender Wanted By Four Italian Clubs Including Napoli: Should Conte Let Go?

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: David Luiz of Chelsea is seen during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Chelsea at Stadium of Light on December 14, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Latest reports claim that Napoli are among four Italian clubs to have taken an interest in Chelsea’s David Luiz. The 31-year-old’s agent has let out flyers, stating the players intent to leave Stamford Bridge this very summer. Luiz does not wish to play under Antonio Conte any longer after being demoted to the benches last season after a reported fallout with the Italian boss.

Carlo Ancelotti has just been appointed as the head coach of Napoli after the departure of Maurizio Sarri. The former Real Madrid boss is looking to make reinforcements ahead of the 2018/19 campaign to place a better title challenge against Juventus. The defence could use some work with Kalidou Koulibaly linked with numerous European big guns.

With players like Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christiansen, Gary Cahill, Nathan Ampadu and Cesar Azpilicueta in the squad, Chelsea can afford to let go of Luiz. Moreover, clearing the hefty wage bill will leave up space for making more signings on the offensive end of the pitch.

The Brazilian has fallen off the mark in recent years and is no longer considered for international selection. He was left out of the final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and is way below the pecking order at Chelsea.

The centre-back was allowed to feature in only 17 games last season and was even banished from the first team at one point. After the Blues 0-3 loss to AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League group stages, Luiz was dropped from the team ahead of the league clash against Manchester United.

As per reports, Conte heaped criticism on the defender after the match, singling him out from the rest of the team and that led to an ugly confrontation. Later in the week, Luiz was seen on the stands while his team won 1-0 against their rivals at the Bridge.

An unfortunate occurrence but Conte is known for his very low tolerance for behavioural issues, as evident from Antonio Rudiger’s situation later in the 2017/18 campaign. Luiz used to be a regular starter and was a key component in Chelsea’s title-winning 2016/18 season. He remained disciplined with his positioning and carried out his duties from the centre-back role on a consistent basis.

But now he has been replaced by Christiansen and Conte might just stick to his principles as long as he holds the reins at South West London.

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With Chelsea cashing in a decent fee for the veteran defender, this move could be lucrative for all parties.

Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.